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Race Drivers: Overcoming The Fear Of Marketing Yourself
Fear can be a very dysfunctional and harmful thing. I have experienced it many times in my life and my career. Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of being made fun of or even ridiculed. The fear of failure. Afraid to do something new for yourself. The fear of not doing something right. Fear of rejection.
As racing drivers, you squeeze into a very powerful machine going at high speed against other determined drivers with powerful machines — and at any moment it can crash, flip over, catch fire and possibly injure you. Those who don’t understand sometimes think you’re crazy, right? But YOU can put that fear out of your mind each week and take the task in hand – why? Because you love racing. It’s your passion. Put fear out of your mind because you are confident in what you are doing and you are determined to win.
When it comes to marketing and promotion, many racing drivers tell me that they don’t want to do it because they are just rejected and rejected by potential sponsors, so they give up. Or they hired people to do this for them with little or no results. Or they just don’t know how. This leads to the constant financial struggle to continue racing every week. So your passion can become stressful and frustrating.
I understand where you are coming from! I know what it’s like to have a passion for something and you want to continue or get to the next step – but you’re just stuck – and afraid, if you try and fail, you’ll be worse than before. What is fear? Fear is what keeps us from succeeding in anything we do.
By marketing and promoting yourself as a rider to fans and sponsors in an effort to attract funding for your race – Ask yourself these questions:
Who or what stops you?
Don’t know how to start?
Afraid to fail?
Don’t understand how marketing works?
Why can’t I just run and sponsors find me?
Or if you:
I just like driving and I’m not interested in marketing.
Even when I try to promote it, it doesn’t get anywhere.
I’m too busy to sell and promote – maybe I can find someone to do it for me.
I’m too shy and not the outgoing type. I’ll leave the marketing to other people.
I don’t like looking like I’m asking for a hand.
I don’t like promoting myself, it makes me seem presumptuous.
I’m afraid to ask for help because I might seem inept.
Marketing costs money – I need to put everything I have into my race car.
I don’t have enough confidence in my abilities and no one will want to sponsor me.
This is the fear of talking to you. It works against you. They prevent you from moving forward. You must change your mind. Just like when you squeeze into that race car to go for the Victory and get the fear out of your mind – you have to do the same with marketing. Approach it the same way you approach your run.
Open your mind to learning – changing, asking for help – integrating yourself into the community and connecting more with fans – you’ll be surprised how much it starts to come back to you!
You cannot do what you fear, and you cannot do what you do not know. You know you need money to run. You know it takes good sponsors and souvenir sales to a large fanbase. But how do you get it? How did you get started and where do you go next?
1.) Change your mindset – approach marketing like you do when you strap on a race – keep your eye on the win and don’t give up. If you fail, fix the problem and go again. Once you land the first sponsor – you get the same exhilaration you get when you win a race and it will push you to keep going for more.
2.) Educate yourself. Learn what you can about marketing and promotion, like building a better shock or a better race car, get ahead of the competition, get your marketing edge!
3.) Look for mentors – look for other riders who have been successful with their marketing and ask for advice, just like you would from those who race well at a certain track or series.
4.) Step away from the racing toolbox a few days a week and use your marketing toolbox like phone, email, social media, and actual face-to-face networking.
5.) Dispel negativity and old ideas about marketing, promotion and sponsorship acquisition – approach it with a positive attitude. Erase the old stuff in your brain and start fresh.
6.) Just do it. Jump in with both feet – the cold water will eventually become comfortable! The more you do it, the more it becomes part of you, and the easier it is to do if you make it routine.
7.) Be creative. Throw in things you know you like as part of your marketing. Organize a charity golf game with local business owners, or a hunting trip. For young racers, create a group trip with kids and parents or kid-friendly businesses in your community to go karting or even have a big pizza party at one of your races. For female drivers you can do something with women owners, like a charity fashion show.
8.) Get more help on your race car so you can open up more time to market and promote yourself and your race team. Find local mechanics or high school students at vocational or automotive schools and see if they want to volunteer on a race team – give them a crew shirt and a pit pass, race tickets for their family. You’d be surprised who will be willing to help just for the experience!
9.) Have fun with your marketing and you will love doing it! Get your good friends involved and make it part of your social life. You will be surprised how many more friends you will make, fans you will gain and sponsors will start looking for you if you see that it is a pleasant experience for their customers to be around you! Before you know it, you will love marketing and promotion and find it rewarding and fun!
10.) Afraid? What a fear. Racing drivers are fearless. Go for it! You can do it!
Some of my favorite quotes about fear:
“The only thing to fear is fear itself” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Fears are educated in us, and can, if we wish, be educated.”
– Karl Augustus Menninger
“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”
– Japanese proverb
“You get strength, courage and confidence from every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face. You have to do what you think you can’t do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Get out and get busy.”
– Dale Carnegie
“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”
“It is impossible to have Faith and Fear at the same time.” – Jackie Pegram (My mentor and Bible study teacher)
I had my fears to face in my PR and Marketing career. When I was new to the NASCAR scene in the early 90’s – I found it best to seek out mentors and learn from the best you can find who are willing to help you learn the ropes. This gave me the confidence I needed to do a good job for my riders, sponsors and team.
I am here to say that I have overcome many fears. I’ve been in your shoes. I have always conquered my fears so that I can continue to grow and move forward into more success.
I will not let anything hold me back from my dreams and goals. I’ve had many try to hold me back, try to push me. I have also experienced heartbreak, failure, sadness and rejection many times over the years in my career. I walk past them and remove all negativity from my mind. I learned to change my mind. I will only look forward towards my goals and not back down due to fear or insecurity. My goal is to share my knowledge, life and career lessons, successes, experience and passion for marketing with all of you. I am dedicated to helping runners achieve their dreams and goals – helping you overcome your fears and find success with marketing. Your success is my success. Dispel the fear, dispel the old myths, ignore any external or internal negativity – and let’s do it! I’m with you all the way!
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